Re: ugabooga god of the universe(was: Re: Chapp article)
Thu, 11 Nov 1999 21:41:26 +0000

Hi Karl,

At 06:24 PM 11/11/1999 EST, wrote:
>Secondly, so far as I read the contributions to this list, no one (including
>me) is asserting that there is no history in the Bible. George Murphy has
>repeatedly tried to make this point and has been repeatedly ignored.
>Frankly, Glenn's reply is a good example of what Chapp was talking about --
>"facts" must be defended at all costs. Yes, history is a part of Scripture;
>but so is metaphor, myth, parable, and fable. Just as in all literature and
>speech, including scientific papers and everyday conversation.

When one rejects the defending of facts, one must decide what the
alternative is--the defending of non-facts? It is easy to reject something
like historicity but it is very difficult to replace it with anything

And never have I asserted that the Bible is only history. But I find it
odd that so many christians in science would gladly relegate their religion
to the realm of non-history, but they would never think of doing that at
their work. I can see it now. "Dear Editor of Nature, Enclosed is a paper
on cold fusion. It is a wonderful metaphor for the powerfulness of the
universe. I hope you accept this for publication." We wouldn't do that
because it would be ridiculous. So why do we do it with something more
important than science?

>Science itself is dependent on analogy, metaphor, and myth in its growth and
>operation. David Livingstone (along with many others) makes this point
>succinctly in a paper from the 1980's published (I think) in the Annals of
>the Association of American Geographers. [I don't have the paper here at
>home; if anyone is interested I can get the title and full reference
>tomorrow.] At least as I read the bulk of Glenn's contributions (and I
>readily admit I may be mis-reading him), he not only would cut the legs out
>from under religion/theology by banning myth and metaphor (sensu lato), but
>would cripple science in the same way.

I would not and never do disagree with scientific observation and theory.
But do you tell the editors of your journals what a wonderful myth you have
in your scientific paper? Of course not--it would be a ridiculous thing to

[Incidentally, this is another reason
>why the recent Kansas board of education decision is so stupid. Their
>Dragnet definition of science (just the "facts", ma'am) misses the whole
>"metaphorical" aspect so critical to the advance of science.]

You don't understand the YECs. They are not interested in just the facts
maam, they are interested in their fairy tale (which violates all
observational data) about the global flood. They are doing what you say we
christians should do--not pay attention to empirical data and just believe
the Bible. That is what gives the power to the YEC movement!

>Just as science is evaluated on much more than just the "facts" (which are
>themselves at least partially theory dependent anyway), so Scripture and the
>God presented there are evaluated on far more criteria than just the
>"history" present.

What criteria? You haven't named it? Warm fuzzies? seances or what? See,
you are rejecting a view but not replacing it with anything. What do you
replace empirical facts with? Is it made up imagination that is what we
should evaluate the Bible with? That is what the YECs already do--they
just offer a different story from you. And you don't like their story.

[So I won't be worshipping Ugabooga or sending Glenn
>money! ;-) ]. I highly admire concordism and the work that is so
>painstakingly attempted; I just think it results in (or from??) a shallow
>theology that is hardly worth defending.

Darn. I had hoped to become rich as ugabooga's profit, er I mean prophet.

As I have been thinking about this today, I think one of the problems I see
with the view expressed in the article, that we don't need to depend upon
empirical data to support the Bible is that it can only be held under the
assumption that Christianity is the only religion on the face of the earth.
When one considers the vast number of religions and the vast number of
their followers, one is struck by the fact that most of them are deceiving
themselves. Every Christian who believes that Jesus is the only way to
salvation MUST believe that the others are fooling themselves. But we
cannot rule out the possibility that it is we who are fooling ourselves. If
there is no other religious alternative, then Christianity doesn't need the
support of the empirical. The view seems to me to be based upon an insular
vantage point. So to construct a religion which doesn't depend upon the
empirical means that Christianity is no better than the others who also
don't depend upon the empirical. Under that rule, ugabooga is about as
good as anything else. And if everything is as good, then I want to be the
prophet and get rich!

And remember, the claims I made for ugabooga are the same claims Moses made
for Jehovah. Moses said Jehovah he is one, now give me 1/3 of your money!

Foundation, Fall and Flood
Adam, Apes and Anthropology

Lots of information on creation/evolution